[Baby} Fash Flash: Changing bags

Now that we’re not getting the Cosatto pram (which came with a changing bag,) I’m starting to think that I can’t bury my head in the sand about changing bags anymore and need to find something to do the job. Trouble is, I’m kind of fussy about my bags and whilst I’m not bothered about finding a bag that is trying to pretend to be a handbag, I do want something that fits my style.

I thought I’d share some of my criteria and some of the better brands and bags I have spotted.

Needs:

  • Wipe clean/waterproof (for pushing the pram in Manchester drizzle.)
  • Reasonably priced ie, significantly less than £100
  • Stylish (puts a rucksack out of the question – not me at all.)
  • Not huge – I’m not a big packer and don’t want to lug around everything but the kitchen sink.
  • Not overtly feminine (I have asked Pete about this and he doesn’t care what the changing bag looks like, but I don’t want him to feel totally silly.)
  • Not too bothered about inserts/included changing bags or bottle holders, but the more expensive it is, the more bothered I would be.
  • Cross body strap for hands-free ease.


Cara Navy stripe £55 // Satchel jumbo dot (navy) £42 // Big slouchy £47 // Amanda quilted, £57.95

Babymel bags are from London (I do love supporting British brands) and have great designs and patterns. I really like this navy spot bag as it will work in winter and summer, without looking silly on Pete.


BabaBing Day Tripper £50

This weekend I saw my girlfriends for a kind of pseudo baby shower (Read: indulgent afternoon tea and dinner out while I grilled them for birth and baby info.) One brought along her 5 week old and this changing bag recommended by 2 of the others there as a unisex option and it has some amazing features, like top access without lifting the flap and a waterproof sealed pocket for soiled items.


Pacapod Napier £85

I’m a real sucker for anything organisational, so the Pacapods really appeal to me. Is it just a gimmick though and will all those compartments just add to access difficulties?


Skip Hop Forma changing bag £65 and grab and go wet/dry bag £13

Also love the chevron print of the Skiphop Forma bag and the wet/dry grab and go bag. Although there’s no cross body strap for this one.

What do you think readers? Got a recommendation I should look into? Roz suggested TK Maxx. What I really need to know is:

What are your essential changing bag contents?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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47 thoughts on “[Baby} Fash Flash: Changing bags

  1. I’m not getting a changing bag because I’m hoping to do a lot of baby carrying and so have got a rucksack to carry baby bits in, with this skiphop changing station http://www.skiphop.com/product/prontochangingstation.html which basically turns any bag into a changing bag.

    If I was, though, I’d be getting one of these from the London based Sophia and Matt. They have such lovely patterns!
    https://www.sophiaandmatt.co.uk/news/products/the-baby-changing-bag-by-sophia-and-matt

  2. I absolutely love pacapod.

    I don’t think it’s a gimmick at all. The gadgets and little features are really useful.

    For example the Velcro handles so it can attach to any pram and the removable pods which mean that you can just pop off to the changing room without having to carry everything with you.

    I’ve recommended to all my mother friends and they all love it too!

    X

  3. I never bothered getting a dedicated changing bag, I just got a cross body bag that wasn’t too heavy when empty and used that. I do have a couple of small “quick trip” bags that I find useful, similar to the skip hop ones. They are great for popping out, especially as the baby gets older and you don’t need as much stuff. Although it seems massively over planning I’d have a think on how you plan to wean baby as if going purée route a bigger bag or one with cool bag pods will be more useful but if doing finger foods from the start then you don’t often need to take food out with you as can just give a bit of your sandwich etc.

  4. It’s so much easier packing a nappy bag for a newborn, I think. Three changes of clothes, nappies, wipes, muslins. Done. Adding in food and books and sippy cups and suncream and and and…. when they’re a bit bigger is what you really need to consider so unless you’re thinking of getting another bag later definitely go for a roomier one. Plus space for bottles/powder dispensers if bottle feeding, too.

    One thing to check/remember – hanging your changing bag over your pram handles will void it’s warranty for a lot of brands. When we were pram shopping I *think* Bugaboo was the only one that still covered you. Not a massive deal but if that’s the kind of thing that’s important to you it’s handy to know.

    • I will back up all Aisling says on needing SPACE. Even at 5 months I am taking probably twice as much stuff for Ellie as I was when she was newborn – and she’s not even on solids yet!

      I have a Babymoov (I was talked down from a Pacapod by Mr K because it was a similar style but twice as expensive). The colours/shape definitely aren’t as stylish so may not be up your street but the following is worth bearing in mind:

      – I can open the bag with one hand (non-negotiable for me, especially with a wriggly baby!);

      – I can find anything in it in about half a second (probably with a blindfold on) due to its really well-thought-out compartments; and

      -it has a changing mat attached.

      The changing mat is not essential, it’s a “nice to have” – but it’s meant I can change Ellie absolutely anywhere – I don’t have to find a baby changing facility. This in turn makes me confident to take her anywhere – which really helped in the first few weeks.

  5. I’ve got the pacapod Portland in black and love it. I’ve used it everyday and it’s fantastic. Keeps me organised, fits perfectly in uppababy basket. Changing pod great to take into toilets when out and about rather than carrying whole bag. Very well made and the customer service is fantastic if you have any issues. I got mine from little mummy and me and got a free red pod which my daughter now 17 months can wear, has a rein too, very cute x

  6. I have the Pacapod Napier and it was great when new born and I still use the pods now with other bags but the bag itself became redundant pretty quickly as it is just not big enough/quite the right shape for everything a +6 month baby requires (I was also forced into a rucksack a lot of the time very early on by a baby who didn’t like the buggy and wanted to be in a wrap/carrier the whole time. Now she’s walking she still doesn’t like the buggy and again a rucksack is much more practical when running after/picking up/holding the hand of a toddler.)

  7. When my best friend was pregnant she struggled for months on which bag to buy. In the end she chose the Skip Hop Dash. It was big enough for everything baby needed but could still be carried around if needed and not be too heavy. She also loved all the pockets and the fact it clipped onto the pram instead of just hooking over the top. It also lasted through their second baby too, so was really durable.

  8. My cousin and friends are all storksak fans. I mentioned the Pacapod Moab on the basis it was gender neutral for Rob (http://www.johnlewis.com/pacapod-moab-changing-bag-carbon/p439888) and my cousin said that a few friends had them but found that the bags were actually a hinderence as they then had to carry another bag with their iPods and SLR cameras on day trips out because there wasn’t much other space aside from the pods. I have taken my camera, wallet, keys and other essential crap into John Lewis and actually tried out this theory in store and she’s right. I know I could streamline my requirements into phone and wallet but I want my proper camera to take photos of Baby Django without the need to faff around with a second bag which I would likely forget I had.

    My solution to get around this and my need for pods (which I love as a concept) is this:
    1. Bag with one large compartment (as distinct from pods) which comes with a multitude of smaller side pockets: http://www.mummyandlittleme.co.uk/storksak-2128-0/storksak-olivia-black-changing-bag.html?gclid=CJvQzsH9kb8CFVIPtAodl0MAfA
    2. Some clear plastic travel bags to keep the changing clothes in and (if applicable) bottle feeding stuff (i figure IF breastfeeding then won’t need feeding pod): http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/organise-us/product/the-clear-inflight-travel-organiser-bag?utm_source=GoogleShopping&utm_medium=Fashion&utm_campaign=254972&gclid=CM3oqqL-kb8CFSEcwwodEgMAeg&gclsrc=aw.ds

    In other news, my friend (who will likely comment in a bit) has this now her baby is a bit older. Apparently you can get them at the Anya Hindmarch outlet in London. She said its brilliant now she needs to carry less…..http://www.anyahindmarch.com/View-All/Nappies-%26-Wipes/Black-5050925680486.html

  9. I have a Babymel and love it, especially as it has a strap that is specifically made to attach to the pram handle. And it has all the pockets etc to make it easy to use. Mothercare did a 50% off all changing bags day when I was pregnant so I got it for less than
    £30.

    For me the Pacapod is far too big but that’s totally personal opinion.

    As you have the Uppababy you should get this http://www.uppababy.co.uk/parent-organiser-accessory.html – v easy for accessing your phone, keys etc and a drink while you’re out and about rather than having to rummage in the bag.

  10. Like Aisling and Anna said, once you have to start carting toys/food etc around, you need quite a lot of space. I have snag from Babies r Us which looks a bit Orla Kiely. I think a changing mat is vital. I wouldn’t want to put A down on some communal changing stations and its great for when you need to change her in the park/ car/ friends house.

  11. I didn’t bother getting a proper changing bag and found the free Boots bag was fine for the first 10 months or so until my Mum managed to snap the zip. I ordered a Hauck bag from Amazon which was about £25 and came with changing mat, bottle holder, wet pouch etc. It’s been fine again but now I am finding I am really sick of carrying 2 bags everywhere so if I could go again I would get something just geared towards my needs so more like a handbag basically.
    Anyway changing bag essentials:
    1. really good mat – means you can do changes anywhere from the boot of the car to the beach
    2. Nappy bags – I get the basics supermarket ones which at 9p for 100 are literally the cheapest thing you will ever buy
    3. Nappies
    4. Nappy cream – Sudocrem for every day, Bepanthen for really sore bots
    5. Hand gel in case there is no sink
    6. Hand cream for dry hands from the hand gel!
    7. Bottle of water for you
    8. minimum of 2 spare changes while baby is newborn
    9. Muslins, again for newborn
    10. Baby wipes or cotton wool
    11. For toddlers/babies over 6 months suitable snacks – carefully prepared fruit and veg sticks has slowly morphed into a packet of Pom Bears and a Cheesestring!
    12. Cup sealed inside a ziplock bag for baby, the freeflow ones they start of with leak everywhere otherwise.
    13. Hat, suncream during the warmer months

    I honestly don’t know how I ever leave the house!

  12. I have this Skip Hop one & it has suited me perfectly. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0088N4ASE/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?qid=1403599225&sr=8-5&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

    Especially like the clip system to attach to the buggy & it was definitely roomy enough for everything I’ve needed to take. Saying that, with a 16 month old now I do find myself taking food out in a separate mini cool bag which goes under the buggy if we’re out a day, whilst the main bag is now full of books, crayons etc to entertain the little one.

  13. I had plans for a buying a lovely changing bag, then got a free one with the buggy and kind of forgot about it! As long as you’ve got a bag with a few pockets, a changing mat and a strap you can happily carry it with by whichever way you prefer you’ll be good.

    Once thing I did buy which has been really useful was this:
    http://www.kiddicare.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/productdisplay0_10751_-1_147437_10001

    It’s basically a changing mat with a few pockets to fit 3/4 nappies, a pack of wipes and a change of outfit in. Can then chuck it in whatever bag you like. Particularly handy for times such as going swimming when you don’t want another bag, or popping somewhere quickly and you don’t need all the paraphernalia.

  14. I haven’t yet bothered with a ‘proper’ changing bag, I have an Alphabetbags large shopper and a Skip Hop changing mat that holds nappies/wipes (I love love love this, it was so useful from day one). As baby A is only 8 weeks and I’m breastfeeding I find I just need muslins and spare clothes (keep the clothes in an Alphabetbags large wallet – brand fan!), plus a plastic bag to put any wet clothes in. I have another large wallet for my phone, keys, purse. It doesn’t go cross body but I put it under the pram if need be. I think as he gets older and we experiment with bottles etc and need food/toys I might get a proper bag with compartments etc. Love the Skip Hop chevron bag!

  15. I first got a Radley changing bag you can see in this post; as it was waterproof, had lots of pockets, a changing mat, it had buggy clips so we didnt have to put the handle over the buggy and it can be made bigger with expandable sections, all of which were great. Its definitely true that you need more later on and even now my bag is still full of nappies, wipes, changes of clothes and the all important snacks!

    Once Holden got a bit older I got sick of carrying that and my handbag so now I’ve got a Mia Tui Ella bag in steel blue, as its just like a big ish normal bag but has pouches and waterproof bottle holders and is waterproof / wipe clean too. My husband / parents still use our original one when they have Holden and I think I would use it again if we have another as I loved the buggy clips on it, however saying that I use a buggy clip to hang my Ella on and then just put the straps over the buggy handles.

  16. It’s so hard choosing a changing bag, I bought a Storksak in a quilted navy blue nylon. It wipes clean, looks stylish and fit everything we needed. Now I’ve got to the point where I’m bored of constantly carrying a change bag and am on count down to going back to work so I’ve gone back to my trusty Longchamp bag and got a Skiphop pronto in the very same chevron as the pic above. It was about £25 but has a much larger changing mat than my Storksak and it was a godsend on holiday (not so easy to find baby change facilities abroad) I can fit 4 nappies, a full pack of wipes (the wipe case is redundant), teething gel, nappy cream, calpol sachets, antibac hand gel and saline nose drops! It fits under the buggy and I can put bottles and lunch stuff into a seperate bag in my handbag. I love the Storksak but I have to say with hindsight that there really was no need to spend £80+ on a change bag as I used it for about 7 months.
    Xx

  17. I have the pacapod Napier and then recently got the Jura. ( justified as I wouldn’t normally go that long without a new handbag! )Love the different sections as helps me remember what I need to take out. Even if you aren’t a big packer babies do need quite a bit of stuff if you’re going to be out for any length of time. X

  18. Hi
    I couldn’t find any baby changing bag that worked for me and my style, so opted for a longchamp classic. It’s the perfect size, completely lightweight, works for my husband and waterproof. I bought myself a travel changing mat which came with a zip wallet which I use for small items.
    Baby loves chewing the leather handles too! 🙂 xx

    • Hi – I like the idea of using a Longchamp bag with some little bags inside for organisation. What size do you use? Thanks x

  19. Ok…I loved my skip hop, just the right amount of pockets, Daddy suitable and waterproof. I tried a pacapod and HATED it with a passion, in theory it seemed ideal but having to undo everything to get the right pod out was a pain.
    I had a storksak aswell (when one became two) which was great but I found quality notaas good as I would expect for the money!
    As for essentials….muslins galore, lip balm, snack for me (and other child) entertainment…phone generally for one handed entertainment when bfing,change of clothes usually something simple and vests. Nappy bags for any poomageddon related clothing mishaps!

  20. Seems to be a lot of love for the Skip Hop. Any clue where I can see one in the flesh as they don’t seem to do them in JL?

  21. It’s a shame you didn’t get the cosatto giggle in the end (I love mine!) but I must say that the changing bag you get with it is pretty poor – I used it for about 8 weeks but it was WAY too small. I have the babymel satchel in stripe, primarily bought because of the price (£42) and because it was in the closest available shop! No research done here! I really like the bag, it’s good quality and looks classic rather than fancy or trendy. The mat it comes with is a good size & the pockets are useful. It’s big enough for stuff for a 9 month old but it can be a squeeze, that said I just realised I still had all our winter gloves, hat, booties etc stuffed at the bottom so I have a lot more room now!! For the price I’m really pleased. I cannot fathom why anyone would spend over £50 on a changing bag as it’s only going to get covered in spraying boob milk / yogurt / pooh anyway. Sorry but it’s the truth! 🙂

  22. Definitely pick up one of those foldaway reusable bags from M&S – comes in very handy when you are working your way through bottles and bags throughout the day! I hate having my bag full of things I don’t need so it helps to clear it out as I go.
    I found that the Pacapod wasn’t great when my son moved onto larger bottles as once the pods were full there wasn’t room in the back pocket for anything else. I ended up with the Storksak Bobby which comes with an insulated food bag so I had the benefits of that as well as the larger space inside the bag.

  23. My input on bags would be to get something with a zip top. I have friends who have flap bags who are constantly making sure nothing is falling out. And you will definitely need more as they get older – I now carry a Gap bag for all of Calum’s stuff when we are out and about, and the “Changing Bag” we bought has taken a little bit of a back seat. This is the one we went for (and that was because it didn’t cost the earth, looked OK whilst Rich was carrying it, and had some useful inserts (plus also was cheap with the Boots Parenting Cub vouchers I used – cost about £10 I think in the end with all the discounts and vouchers! http://www.boots.com/en/Koto-Leatherette-Baby-Changing-Bag-Brown_1022162/

  24. We have the pacapod mirano and I’m still using it with Annie being 10 months so that must be a good sign. It is however quite big but still fits on the uppababy no problem…Definitely packing more now she is older!!!

    I also find the pods really useful to be able to quickly nip to the loo to do a change, It also is fine for the hubs to carry and has a shoulder strap. Although its too big to be cross body… I also carry a smaller cross body bag with my purse etc in because often if we are at a class or something I now just leave the pacapod on the buggy outside and then just take my smaller bag into the class with the valuables..

    However I’m not sure it was worth the £100 – you would definitely be fine with a normal bag… However Annie was rarely sick so i didn’t need that many outfit changes!! Part of me wishes I just went for a longchamp one like this

    http://uk.longchamp.com/luggage/le-pliage/travel-bag-1624089?sku=64317 – and it can be personalised!!

    Love the Anya hindmarch although not sure I could justify it!!

    Rachie xo

    • I happen to know the Anya Hindmarsh one was about the same price as that Longchamp one….about £80 I think. Get thee to the Hoxton outlet pronto

  25. I bought a StorkSak – which initially I liked it just felt a bit bulky, and I found the changing mat hard to juggle with a wiggling baby! Its not a bad bag, but i found myself scrabbling in the bottom to find everything! So I went to John Lewis and had a good look at all the bags there, and I’ve just ordered one of the plainer Pink Linking bags, I like the thicker changing mat, the insulated bottle holders, key fob and it’s a pretty bag but not too girly! I also like that there is lots of room for nappies etc, as I seem to get through a lot when I’m out – and there’s nothing worse than running out when my daughter has had a poo-splosion! http://www.pinklining.com/uk/changing-bags/not-so-plain-jane-bags

    My essential top tip would be always have a change of clothes for your little one..sometimes they seem to poo on everything!

  26. Pacapod fan!

    We have the Portland bag which is a unisex satchel bag similar to the Oban but has a lot more room inside (for double the price though). So many people said to me I was crazy spending £130 on a changing bag but 10 months later it is still keeping me organised. The pods inside are great when you’re popping to do a nappy change and the insulated feeding pod is brilliant now that Olivia is eating proper food. The test for me was taking the pacapod on holiday. We are currently in Greece and the bag has become our holiday essential. It’s easy for grandparents to use (another holiday essential!) and roomy enough to store all of Olivia’s bits, including the mountains of muslins in the early days (aden and anais ones are amazing) and the extra sleep suits and vests for those explosions (that stuff goes everywhere. We had to repaint a wall in the nursery after a 1am incident)

    The only downside is that I have become a connecta fan and rarely use the buggy so the satchel style bag isn’t ideal. I think I’m going to treat myself to this: http://www.pacapod.com/hastings-changing-bag.html which looks ideal for when I’m baby wearing. It was something that I hadn’t considered before Olivia was born so if you think you many end up using a sling then I would go for a rucksack style.

    Happy shopping!

    Louise.x

  27. I had a pacapod with my first, but it was heavy and I used the sling more than the buggy so either used an oil cloth across the body bag or a back back. I had two bubbas under two so the amount of crap I had to carry was phenomenal! Even now my eldest is 3 and my youngest 22 months I have to use something easy and practical . But yes pacapod is fab with a newborn xx

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